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Sam Darnold has been cleared for contact for Week 16, could see snaps

We break down the news that Sam Darnold could see some snaps on Sunday against the Tampa Bay Buccaneers.

Sam Darnold #14 of the Carolina Panthers throws the ball during the first quarter against the New England Patriots at Bank of America Stadium on November 07, 2021 in Charlotte, North Carolina. Photo by Grant Halverson/Getty Images

Carolina Panthers head coach Matt Rhule said on Wednesday that veteran quarterback Sam Darnold has been cleared for contact, but Cam Newton will start and have a major role, per Joe Pearson. Rhule also added that Darnold will play at some point on Sunday.

Fantasy football implications

Rhule is determined to make this two-quarterback thing work, even though that does not make fantasy football managers happy. Newton will still get the start after his performance last week against the Buffalo Bills on the road. The veteran quarterback completed 18-of-38 passes for 156 yards, a touchdown, and an interception. He also had a season-high 71 yards on 15 carries and a touchdown.

Despite his completion percentage, Newton has scored a rushing touchdown in his last five games and has a touchdown-interception ratio of 1:1 (four touchdown passes and four ints). As for Darnold, it should be interesting to see where Rhule inserts him at into the game and how often he plays. The former USC quarterback has been on injured reserve since Week 10 with a shoulder injury.